Wearing the right pair of heels can help to transform your look and improve your confidence, whether you’re taking charge in the office or hitting the town on date night. Heels are designed to help make our legs look longer, firmer, and more attractive as we walk. Unfortunately, for many women, heels can also be a nuisance.
As a plus-size person, it can be particularly challenging to find a pair of heels that’s both comfortable and fashionable. Many styles don’t offer much in the way of support or stability, and some can even be downright dangerous.
Fortunately, if you have curves, you don’t have to settle for ugly or unfashionable footwear. There are plenty of attractive heels designs that are made to handle wearers of any shape and size. Here, we go over what to look for in a heel and discuss some of the best styles available for plus-size people.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice: Onlymaker Women’s Ankle Bootie
- Premium Product: Loeffler Randall Cece High Heel Knot Sandal
- Best Value Product: DREAM PAIRS Women’s Chunk Low Heel Pump Sandals
The Different Types of Heels
There are plenty of different heel styles to suit any occasion, whether you’re looking for something comfortable and casual or something a little more eye-catching. Here, we go over the different types of heels available to those of us with a plus size figure.
Pumps, also known as court shoes, are a popular heel style that offers a classically elegant look. They have a simple design, with a low cut, closed toes, and no straps or fastenings. They’re also often wider than classic heels. This makes them easier to slip on and off, especially for plus size individuals.
Pumps can have heels ranging from around just an inch in height to four or more inches. For plus-size wearers, it’s best to look for models with shorter heels. They give you a solid base on which to stand, reducing the risk of foot and ankle injuries.
Mary Janes are similar in design to pumps, but often slightly more conservative. They’re not cut as low and rarely show parts of the toe, while a strap across the top of the foot ensures that the shoe is held in place. Mary Janes also have a closed toe and a low, thick heel, making them easier to walk in.
Mary Janes are ideal for formal occasions that don’t call for the glitz and glamor of heels such as pumps or Stilettos. They’re ideal for a working environment, school, and casual get-togethers. What’s more, their design makes them comfortable for plus-size wearers.
Wedges offer more support than most traditional heel styles. There’s no separation between the heel and the toe of the foot. Instead, the sole runs continuously along the ground. This design helps to distribute your weight evenly so that it’s not all placed on the ball of the foot, offering support that other types of heels don’t provide.
Wedges can also be safer than other heels. Plus size individuals may be at a higher risk of slips and falls than others, which can lead to serious health complications such as sprained joints, broken bones, and more. Choosing a more stable shoe such as a wedge is often a good idea when it comes to everyday footwear.
Platform heels have been around for thousands of years, helping to create the appearance of a taller physique, longer legs, and a more muscular backside. The very first platform shoes were made of cork and used in theater productions.
Like wedges, platform heels help to improve your stability as you walk. The sole of platform heels is raised around the ball of the foot so that you’re not forced to walk on the tips of your toes. Instead, platforms help to even out your foot so that you can walk normally.
The Stiletto is a relatively new invention, created by French designer Roger Henry Vivier in the 1950s. The very first Stilettos were able to achieve a thinner heel than traditional shoes by using a metal rod instead of wood for support.
The Stiletto is made more for fashion than function. They don’t provide much in the way of stability and place most of your body weight on the balls of your feet. The heel is also thin and long, sometimes reaching over eight inches, and can be prone to snapping under pressure. The best stilettos for plus-size individuals tend to be high-end styles with sturdy heels and a padded interior.
This shoe is a shorter version of the Stiletto that was originally designed to introduce young girls to high heels. While the body is similar to that of a Stiletto, with a low cut and a narrow width, the heels are much shorter. Typically, they’re under two inches in height.
Nowadays, kitten heels are popular amongst all age groups. They’re a particularly good choice for plus size people who are looking for an alternative to Stilettos. Thanks to their low profile, kitten heels distribute your weight more evenly across both the ball and heel of the foot. They’re also more stable and easier to walk in, making the design less prone to causing slips and falls.
While many boots are designed for harsh weather and rough terrain, you can also find boots that were made with fashion in mind. You can find heeled boots in all sorts of varieties, from knee-high or thigh-high styles to more modest ankle boots. The heels come in a range of heights, though they tend to be blocky to keep with the aesthetics of the shoe.
Heeled boots are ideal for plus-size wearers. They offer plenty of support around the ankles and the insole of the shoe, helping to keep you safe and comfortable. Thick heels also offer you more stability, especially when walking on slippery surfaces. What’s more, you can wear heeled boots year-round, even when it starts to get chilly out.
What to Look for in a Plus Size Heel
Finding the right shoe for your body type isn’t easy, especially for those of us with more curves. The next time you’re looking for the perfect heels, here are some tips on what to look out for when trying on a new pair.
As with any shoe, the first thing to consider when shopping for plus size heels is your foot size. Many heels are sized slightly differently than shoes such as sneakers or flats. You should be aware that you may have to try on sizes up or down from what you’re used to wearing.
The length of the heel isn’t the only important factor. Many plus-size people tend to have wider feet, and trying to fit into shoes that are too narrow can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even long-term foot and ankle issues. Fortunately, many heels are now available in both standard and wide sizing options.
The heel of a pair of shoes determines how you distribute your body weight as you walk. A higher and thinner heel, such as those found in Stilettos, offers much less stability than a low, thick heel. It places the majority of your body weight on the ball of your foot, which can be particularly uncomfortable for plus size wearers. Long, thin heels are also more prone to snapping under body weight, regardless of your size.
If you’re worried about the safety and stability of your shoes, it’s best to opt for a shorter heel. If you’re looking for a Stiletto-type shoe, consider getting yourself a pair of shorter kitten heels instead. Thicker is also better when it comes to heel stability. You can find pumps, platforms, and more that are designed to have a thick heel for extra support. Wedges are also a great choice, taking heels out of the equation altogether.
Straps across the top of the foot and around the ankle are there for more than looks alone. They can help to hold your foot in place as you walk, preventing it from slipping or rubbing against the shoe. This sort of design can help you to avoid blisters and friction burns even when breaking in a new pair of heels. Support straps also reduce your risk of tripping, slipping, and falling due to poor-fitting shoes.
Read Also: Best High Heels to Dance In
Best High Heels for Plus Size
With so many different types of heels to choose from, it’s never easy to find the perfect pair for you. Here, we go over some of the best heel styles available for plus size wearers looking to spice up their look.
This ankle-high boot is designed for both fashion and comfort. Cushioning around the insole helps to keep you comfortable, while padding around the collar of the boot helps to stabilize your ankle and prevent chafing.
An ergonomic design ensures that your foot doesn’t slip around in your shoes as you walk, while also leaving enough room for your feet to move and breathe. Because the bootie has straps and closed toes, there’s little chance of your feet moving around inside the shoe and causing injuries.
The Onlymaker Ankle Bootie has a heel that reaches over 5.5″, giving you the lift of a Stiletto without the discomfort. The heels are also made of wood, which offers not only a rustically pleasing aesthetic but also provides the strength the shoe needs to provide plenty of support.
You can secure the boot around your foot and ankle using laces, which aren’t just functional but also help to create a casual yet elegant look. Laces are two-toned to add more depth to the look of the shoe.
The heel of the Onlymaker Bootie is comfortable enough to let you use the shoe as everyday footwear, but fashionable enough to work for events such as dates, parties, and even office functions. The boot comes in a variety of colors, including brown, black, purple, and camo patterning.
You can also find this boot featuring a studded design for a more edgy look. Black boots come with silver studs and buckles, while camo and brown varieties come with gold studs.
- Offers cushioning and support for ankles
- Padding around the collar
- Over 5.5” heel
- Laces for a better fit
- A variety of colors and studding options
- Faux leather breaks down easily
- Colors may vary
These high-end designer heels are both comfortable and fashionable. They’re designed with elegance in mind and ideal for formal occasions, parties, nights out, and more. They come in a single color, nude, that pairs well with just about any color. You can also find these shoes in a variety of sizing options ranging up to a Women’s 11.
The upper portion of the shoe is made of soft yet sturdy fabric that has enough give to hold your foot in place without squeezing it. The top of the shoe is stylish, with fibers ties into a bow-like knot for a fresh twist on a classic look.
The design is open-toed, allowing your feet to breathe while also preventing your toes from getting cramped or squished. An adjustable ankle strap helps to keep your feet from sliding forward or your heel from slipping out of the back of the shoe.
The lower portion of the shoe is lined with real leather, making it tough while also being soft and supple. A soft, thin insole helps to protect both the shoe and your foot from damage and discomfort.
The heel of the Cece Sandal is chunky, with a broad base that helps to support your weight without wobbling. These high-end shoes are easy to walk in for wearers of any size, thanks to the heel design.
Because these shoes are made of leather, they need more care and maintenance than synthetic shoes. You should also be wary of wearing them on rough terrain or in poor weather conditions, as excessive wear and water damage may ruin the heels.
- Elegant knot design
- Made of real, premium leather
- Ideal for formal occasions and social events
- Soft and comfortable
- Chunky, stable heel
- Only one color option
- Require strict care
This shoe is an ideal warm-weather heel thanks to its open toe design and exposed sides. Both a toe strap and an adjustable ankle strap help to hold your foot in place, so it doesn’t slip around as you walk.
A low, chunky heel reaches around 3″ in height, lifting you enough to make your legs pop but not so much that it’s difficult to walk properly. The heels are thick and square, providing support and making it easier to balance both when standing and walking. A platform of 0.15″ at the front of the shoe also helps to improve stability for wearers of all sizes.
The sole of this shoe is made of TPR rubber. It’s thin and flexible, moving with you as you walk to help place less pressure on the bottoms of your feet. The insole is also padded with latex for both additional support and comfort.
The DREAM PAIRS Low Heel Pump Sandal is casual enough for daily wear, yet formal enough for office functions, social events, and more. They come in more than two dozen different colors so you can coordinate with your favorite outfit, including classics such as black and nude alongside bolder options such as floral patterning or gold glitter.
You can choose between an exterior made of faux leather, or one made of faux suede. All materials are eco-friendly and vegan so that you can wear your heels guilt-free. Buckles and metal accents come in either silver or gold, depending on the color of the shoe.
- Appropriate for both casual and formal wear
- More than two dozen color options
- Choose between vegan faux leather or faux suede
- Thick, low heel
- Flexible TPR rubber sole
- Straps are stiff and may cause chafing
- Thin soles don’t offer much support
If you’re looking for a thigh-high boot that will fit your curves comfortably, then these may be the boots for you. Like most thigh-highs, these RF boots are designed to help lengthen your legs. Unlike many thigh-high styles, however, these boots offer a tall yet thick heel for support. You can wear them for hours without feeling a burn in your thighs.
The RF Over-the-Knee Boot is designed to be adjustable, with a drawstring around the top that allows you to tighten the collar of the shoe around the unique shape of your thigh. However, some users have difficulty getting the drawstring to hold.
The boots are made of synthetic, man-made leather for durability. Unlike real leather and suede, you can wear these boots even in wet weather without worrying about damage. The material is also extra stretchy, not only helping to improve the fit but also to hold the shoes up against your calves and thighs.
A partial side zip closure makes it easy to slip these boots on and off, especially for those of us who have curvy calves. You won’t have to force your foot into the shoe and risk damaging the ankle structure or injuring yourself.
The soles of these boots are made anti-slip rubber, helping to improve grip and prevent slips, trips, and falls. The insole is also cushioned, which helps not only to offer comfort, but may even help to correct your gait and prevent future problems in the feet, ankles, and legs.
Environmentally conscious shoppers will be happy to know that RF boots are made with sustainability in mind. All materials used are 100% vegan, and the company doesn’t use animal testing on their product.
- Tall yet thick heel
- Adjustable and stretchy
- Durable enough to resist wear and tear
- Anti-slip soles and a cushioned interior
- Eco-friendly materials
- May not stay up on the thigh
- Wears down quickly
This classic Mary Jane style is designed with plus-sized users in mind. They offer a conservative look compared to other heels, making them ideal for work events, formal functions, and more. The body of the shoe is also wider than most, allowing them to accommodate larger feet. It’s best to buy this shoe half a size down, as it runs longer than most pairs.
The heel of the shoe is relatively low, lifting just 2.5” off the ground. It’s also relatively thick, making the shoe more stable. Inside, the shoe’s insole is padded with memory foam cushioning that 1.5 times thicker than padding in most other shoes.
The exterior of the shoe is made of a high-quality microfiber that comes in seven different color options, including black, white, grey, nude, beige, and classic red. Accents such as buckles come in either silver or gold. It mimics the appearance of high-end suede, without all of the rigorous care and upkeep requirements.
The material is synthetic and completely vegan, with a durable TPR, or thermoplastic rubber outsole. It’s resistant to water, weather, and wear and tear over time. The bottom is also textured to help reduce your risk of slips and falls.
There are two different designs to choose from when it comes to the RF Mary Jane. Both offer straps to help hold the shoe securely in place. You can opt for a shoe with adjustable buckles across the top or one with a single adjustable buckle that wraps around the ankle.
- Conservative design
- Able to accommodate larger feet
- Low, thick, stable heel
- Durable and easy to care for
- Two different styles and seven color options
- Heels may dig in
- The heel cap is prone to detaching
This kitten heel has a simple yet elegant design that can be worn with just about any outfit. The shoes are slip-on, with closed toes and a low cut. They also come in a wide range of more than twenty different colors, including both natural tones and bright, bold color options.
The shoe is made of synthetic materials, with several different options from which to choose. You can find this heel in a classic sleek, shiny faux leather, or soft, matte suede. For a more glamorous look, you can also find the Dream Pairs Tiffany Low Stiletto in textured silver and gold.
The sole of the shoe is made of TPR rubber that comes in either black or brown, depending on the color of the pair. The heel is thin but lower than that of a classic Stiletto, only reaching a height of around 3”. A small platform at the base of the foot also helps to offer support and lift the balls of your feet into a more natural walking position. This design makes the shoes easier to walk in for wearers of all sizes.
The insole is padded with latex for both comfort and support. It’s able to mold to the shape of your foot, which prevents your heels from slipping. It’s important to remember, however, that this shoe is designed for bigger feet. Sizing options tend to run large, so you may want to try a size down from what you’re used to wearing.
- Simple, timeless design
- More than twenty color options
- Three different materials to choose from
- Low heels and a platform sole for easier movement
- Able to accommodate large feet
- Can pinch toes
- Color may not be true
This classic wedge shoe is designed specifically for those with wide feet. It offers a comfortable fit without cutting into the ankle. The wedge design of the shoe gives it more stability than most heels, making it an ideal choice for plus size wearers who are looking for heels with extra support.
These wedge heels are 2.64” in height, while at the front of the shoe, a small 0.2” platform lifts the ball of your foot just enough for comfort, but not enough to offset the aesthetic of the shoe. An adjustable, elastic buckle strap across the top helps to hold your foot in place and keep it from sliding around inside the shoe. However, this strap is relatively weak and prone to breaking.
Inside the shoe, a high-density memory foam insole conforms to your foot and cushions it as you walk, improving comfort while reducing pressure on your joints. This padding is 50% thicker than in the average shoe.
The outside of these wedges is made of high-quality environmental microfiber. This makes the shoe soft yet durable, giving it the flexibility it needs to move with your foot as you walk. You can choose from five different earth tone colors.
If you prefer a more sleek look, you can also find this shoe in black faux leather. It’s even easier to care for than the microfiber shoes and offers a slightly more formal look than the microfiber options.
Because these shoes are made to fit wide feet, they tend to run big on most people. They’re half a size longer and 15% wider than the average shoe. You may want to try them on in smaller sizing options for a better fit.
- Longer and wider than the average shoe
- Stable and attractive wedge heel design
- High-density memory foam insole
- Microfiber or faux leather exterior options
- Strap breaks easily
- May be too narrow for some feet
These ankle-high booties are warm, stylish, and comfortable. An ergonomic design keeps your foot comfortable and supported, helping to prevent discomfort and injuries during wear. The shoes are also easy to take on and off, thanks to a convenient side zipper. The zipper is hidden to keep with the sleek look of the shoe.
The Susanny Lace-Up Ankle Boot is made of PU leather, which is a synthetic material made of the byproducts of leather development. They also have rubber soles, which are ridges for extra traction and flexible for added slip-resistance. While the soles are resistant to wear and tear, the body of the shoe is a little bit more delicate.
A chunky heel that reaches just shy of 5″ and a small, waterproof platform both give you longer, firmer-looking legs. The heel is thick enough that the boot is easy to walk around in. As a boot, this shoe also has more ankle support than most other heel styles, helping to give plus-size wearers a smooth and steady gait.
Two adjustable side buckles help you to tighten the boot around your ankle for maximum comfort. They also add a unique, fashionable flair to the design. The toe of the boot is roomy and rounded to prevent pinching, blistering, or other issues.
This shoe comes in four trendy colors designed to go with just about any outfit. You can choose between black, brown, tan, and leopard print depending on your sense of fashion and your wardrobe needs. Accents such as buckles and eyelets of the shoe are a striking silver color.
- Thick yet high heel
- Fashionable design with side buckles
- Made of sustainable PU leather
- Easy to slip on and off thanks to a side zipper
- Wear-resistant and slip-resistant soles.
- Heels are prone to snapping
- Outer material wears quickly
These platform heels are designed to catch eyes, with a sleek and timeless silhouette that raises you almost 6” off the ground. Thanks to a thick 1.25” platform along the front of the shoe, you won’t have to place all your weight on the ball of your foot, making the shoe an ideal choice for curvy wearers looking for something simple yet glamorous.
These platforms feature a peep toe to show off your pedicure, let your feet breathe, and provide some extra room for those with longer than average feet. The front of the shoe is also cut low to show off plenty of skin.
The Onlymaker Peep Toe Platform Pump comes in a wide variety of striking colors. You can opt for a vivid, solid color or try out a trendy two-tone or ombre design. There are also styles available that boast studs or rhinestones. If you’re looking for some glitz, you can find this platform pump in glittery colors, including gold, silver, pink, and more. There are also patterned options, including leopard print and a night sky, as well as an iridescent style.
The outer material of the shoe is an eco-friendly man-made leather that’s completely vegan. The shoe’s sole is made of rubber, with slight texturing under the ball of the foot for slip resistance. Inside, the shoe is lightly lined and cushioned for comfort.
The Onlymaker Platform Pump is available in sizes ranging from 5 to 15. It’s made to fit just about any body type. Thanks to its sizable platform, it’s also easier to walk in than other heels, especially for those with curves.
- Comes in a wide variety of bold colors and styles
- A tall platform makes it easier to walk
- Attractive, classic design
- Made of vegan materials
- Non-slip sole
- Sizing runs small
- Minimal padding
These shoes are a hybrid between boots and wedges, offering a unique design that’s both comfortable and supportive for any shape or size. The sole makes contact with the ground along the entire length of the heel to improve stability. The shoe also comes in a more classic design with a midsize heel block reaching 1.25” in height.
The Aukusor Ankle Boot runs 12% wider than the average shoe, helping it to fit feet of more shapes and sizes. However, those with extra wide feet may still find that there isn’t enough breathing room inside the shoe.
Inside this boot, a high-density memory foam insole keeps your foot cushioned and comfortable. It also ensures that the boot fits more snugly so that you don’t have to worry about burns and blisters. The toe of the shoe is rounded to allow more wiggle room for your toes.
The exterior of the shoe is made from soft microfiber faux suede or faux leather. It looks just like the real deal and is much easier to care for. What’s more, the material is vegan and earth-friendly. You can find this shoe in a variety of traditional colors, including black, brown, beige, and gray.
This boot comes in several different styles. Many have fashionable lacing up the front to help keep the ankle of the boot tight. Some styles have no laces, but instead, stretchable fabric along the sides to allow you to slide the shoe on and off easily. Some use a side zipper instead.
- Comes in attractive and subtle shades
- A variety of different styles with laces, zippers, or neither
- Made of vegan faux suede or leather
- Stable wedge or block heel
- Roomy, rounded toes
- May be too narrow for wide people
- Heavyweight design
These boots are beautiful and unique, incorporating lace into their design instead of sticking to traditional heel materials such as suede and leather. The heel is decently thick and measures around 4.3” in height. While this may seem tall, a 1.2” platform at the front of the shoe raises the balls of your feet to a more comfortable height.
This shoe is made of durable synthetic materials to help it withstand wear and tear. A rubber sole and heel cap help to keep the shoes from slipping, while an adjustable buckle tightens the top of the shoe around the ankle. The body of the shoe is made of a floral lace pattern that’s both attractive and breathable.
The GETMOREBEAUTY Ankle Boots come in five bold colors, including black, white, blue, purple, and red. Metal accents are available in polished gold or silver. This includes both the ankle buckle and the underside of the heel, making for a glamorous, eye-catching look.
The design of the shoe is open-toed but doesn’t leave so much room that your feet slide forward. It features open panels at the side to show some skin, while the rest of the foot is covered in see-through synthetic lace that holds its shape.
These boots are ideal for everyday wear, but also fashionable enough to fit in at events such as weddings, proms, parties, and more. Just remember that the lace material, while durable, is still delicate enough to rip. You should avoid wearing these shoes on rough terrain or in bad weather.
- Unique floral lace design
- A front platform for easier movement
- No-slip sole and heel
- Attractive polished metal accents
- Breathable design
- Factory smell out of box
- Lace is prone to tearing
The Final Word on Plus Size Heels
As a plus-size person, it’s not always easy to find the right pair of heels. Many are too small, to unstable, or too delicate to ensure safety and comfort. Fortunately, there are plenty of shoes available on the market that is ideal for those of us with extra curves.
Our favorite heel for plus-size wearers is the Onlymaker Women’s Ankle Bootie. It’s specifically designed to support wearers of any shape and size without sacrificing looks. While the heel may be thin, it’s made of wood for extra strength. The body of the shoe is also wide enough for just about any foot type.
The Loeffler Randall Cece High Heel Knot Sandal is our top choice for a premium product. This luxurious shoe is designed to be comfortable and stable while still offering a cute knot design. These shoes are made of real leather and soft, supple fabric that keeps your feet firmly in place.
If you’re looking for budget options, our top pick for best value product is the DREAM PAIRS Women’s Chunk Low Heel Pump Sandals. They’re attractive, affordable, and better yet, comfortable enough to wear all day long thanks to a block heel design.